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  • Writer's pictureDavid Jacobs

Just Say No to Voiceover Pay to Play

Updated: Jul 21, 2023

Stack of money

The Trap

There are many ways to get jobs in Voiceover, but one of the most tempting is Pay to Play websites. These are membership sites to which you pay a fee and you get access to many jobs. It all looks so easy. Just login and there are auditions right there waiting for you. However, things are not always what they seem.

So you start auditioning on these sites. And you audition, and audition, and audition. And, nothing. Yes you are getting practice auditioning, but after awhile, Pay to Play sites start to mess with your mind. It's really easy to start thinking, I must suck. I used Pay to Plays too much in lieu of spending time on direct marketing and I had a blow to my confidence. Until I was talking to a coach who asked me what site and she said she had never heard of anyone booking on that site.

So, what's going on? If you are new to the game like me, you're new and you're going to have to audition your butt off and get through a lot of rejection. These sites aren't making things any easier, though, as we forget we are competing with everyone else on that platform, likely thousands and thousands of other talent. On some sites, the more you pay, the less competition you have. See how this works? I won't call it a scam, but really now. No matter how good you are, it's more like buying lottery tickets than really auditioning.

Listen to Your Coach

If you have had any reliable coaching, I am pretty sure your coach told you direct marketing is the best way to find Voiceover jobs. You ignored that advice didn't you? I know, so did I! The temptation of Pay to Play got me too. Now it is time to listen to your coach. Direct marketing via email or phone is harder and more time consuming. You have to build that database and nurture it. Keep track of progress and followup. It's far from glamorous but it's the most reliable way to start getting traction. I have now started to pour myself into direct marketing and I already have a response from an ad agency happy to listen to my demo.

Be Good to Yourself

Here's the news. You don't suck, the PTP sites suck. Stop banging your head against that wall and start doing something more productive. And be good to yourself because like direct marketing for VO, this is a long, hard journey. Drink lots of water, exercise, and keep the positive vibes flowing. When you DO audition, walk away and forget about it. Move on to the next thing and don't even think about it. If good news comes, excellent! But don't get yourself in a bad headspace worrying about auditions. Staying in a good headspace is not only good for the long journey but will help you give a better performance when it's time. PTP sites where putting me into a bad headspace, so I have sworn off them and spend all my time on direct marketing and creating content to build my brand awareness.

Good hunting Voiceover artists! I'll see you on the road.

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